Today's News

  • School voucher bills flood GOP-led statehouses

    ATLANTA (AP) — More states than ever before have considered school vouchers this year, driven by resurgent Republicans who see the lagging economy as an opportunity for a fresh push on one of their most contentious education policies.

    As of mid-July, at least 30 states had introduced bills that would use taxpayer dollars to send children to private schools, most limited to poor or special needs children, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That's compared with nine voucher bills in 2010, just one of which passed — a special needs voucher program in Oklahoma.

  • Mullen: US troops must have legal immunity to stay in Iraq

    BAGHDAD (AP) — The top U.S. military officer said Tuesday that American troops must be given immunity from prosecution as part of any agreement to keep them in Iraq beyond the end of the year and that this protection must be approved by Iraq's parliament.

    The comments by Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Mike Mullen could make it more difficult for the troops to stay here.

    Mullen and other U.S. officials have been pushing Iraq to decide whether they would want additional American forces to stay in the country past their Dec. 31 departure date, and the immunity issue has been one of the key sticking points.

  • Senate likely to pass debt ceiling bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) — With just hours left before the national debt bumps against its ceiling, emergency bipartisan legislation to allow the government to borrow more faces one final test in the Senate. Expected passage there sends the bill to President Barack Obama, averting a potentially disastrous, first-ever government default and making a down payment toward taming out-of-control budget deficits.

    The legislation, which easily passed the House on Monday, is virtually assured to clear the Senate shortly after noon Tuesday by a bipartisan tally. The White House promises Obama will sign the measure into law.


    After 36 long days, firefighters have fully contained the Las Conchas Fire, the largest wildland fire in New Mexico's recorded history.

    Ignited on June 26, the Las Conchas Fire burned over 156,593 acres, primarily on the Santa Fe National Forest and parts of the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Bandelier National Monument, Pueblos of Jemez, Santa Clara, Cochiti and Santo Domingo, and private lands. Numerous communities were threatened during the incident.

  • House Roll Call: How they voted on debt-limit bill--video extra

    The 269-161 roll call Monday by which the House passed the compromise bill to raise the debt ceiling and prevent a government default.

    A "yes" vote is a vote to pass the measure.

    Voting yes were 95 Democrats and 174 Republicans.

    Voting no were 95 Democrats and 66 Republicans.

    X denotes those not voting.

    There are 2 vacancies in the 435-member House.


    Democrats — Sewell, Y.

    Republicans — Aderholt, Y; Bachus, Y; Bonner, Y; Brooks, N; Roby, N; Rogers, Y.


    Republicans — Young, Y.


    Democrats — Giffords, Y; Grijalva, N; Pastor, N.

  • Las Conchas burned area treatments begin

    Implementation of BAER treatments for the Las Conchas fire area within the Santa Fe National Forest has begun, Forest Service officials said Monday.

    Aerial seeding and mulching contracts have been posted for bids. Contracts for both treatments are expected to be awarded on August 2. The aerial seeding must be completed within seven days of contract award.

  • Healthcare reform: Insurers must cover birth control with no copays

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says health insurance plans must cover birth control for women with no copays.

    The requirement, affecting most insurance plans, is part of a broad expansion of women's preventive coverage. Breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual "well woman" physical, counseling on how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and other services will also be covered at no cost to the patient.

    The new benefits won't take effect for at least another year, Jan. 1, 2013, in most cases. Insurers are expected to pass the cost on to their customers through slightly higher premiums.

  • Obama signs debt bill after final Senate vote--video extras

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate emphatically passed emergency legislation Tuesday to avoid a first-ever government default, rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the deadline. The vote was 74-26.

    Obama signed the bill little more than an hour later.

    Tuesday's vote capped an extraordinarily difficult Washington battle pitting tea party Republican forces in the House against Obama and Democrats controlling the Senate. The resulting compromise paired an essential increase in the government's borrowing cap with promises of more than $2 trillion of budget cuts over the next decade.

  • Twin troubles awaken new politics

    Should we worry about the national debt? Is it wise not to cut down a mountainside full of trees to meet current needs?
    The questions together are a curious pair. Or more to the point, how curious that we never hear the questions asked together.       
    They are but two forms of the same question: How do we husband assets so as to maintain capabilities for those who come later?              
    Mull on it. The fields of economics and ecology are more the same than different. They are chapters in the same book.

  • Grant expands state’s education success

     When Taos-based Imagine Education received a Next Generation Learning Challenge Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates and William and Flora Hewlett foundations this summer, the award was not just a triumph for middle-school students struggling to learn math.
    It also marked an achievement for the New Mexico programs that grow the state’s economy by helping small New Mexico businesses.
    Imagine Education’s founders credit economic development initiatives with helping them win the grant, one of 19 awarded nationwide for innovations in teaching literacy and mathematics. The grant will allow Imagine Education to pilot its educational math game, Ko’s Journey, in 10 middle schools nationwide.
    A business built on needs